Jun 5, 200603:22 PMThe Life
Deserts of the world: Great Victoria
Jun 5, 2006 - 03:22 PMThe Great Victoria Desert is a vast expanse of sand hills, gravel and grass in western Australia, between the Gibson Desert on the north and Nullarbor Plain on the south. In 1875, explorer Ernest Giles crossed the desert and named it after his queen. [Click thumbnail photo to see a larger version in Giles' book, "Australia Twice Traversed."] A large part of the eastern end contains aboriginal reserves.
The area is also tracked for the recovery of missiles whose trajectories are guided from the weapons-testing range in Woomera. Watch your head.
Part of this desert is in the "Unnamed Biosphere Reserve." I sh... kid you not.
But it gets better: according to UNESCO, "Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use." O-tay, Spanky.
The Great Sandy, Gibson and Great Victoria deserts are collectively referred to as the Great Western Desert—otherwise known as "the Outback," which contains Uluru / Ayers Rock, one of the world's largest monoliths.